January 29, 2018 | By Bekah Harger
The CA Supreme Court released its opinion on January 26, 2018 in McMillan Albany LLC v. Superior Court of Kern County. The Court, in a long awaited opinion to resolve the dispute over whether “SB800,” the California Right to Repair Act, is an exclusive statutory remedy, resoundingly upheld the Court of Appeal’s decision, holding that “. . . the Act was designed as a broad reform package that would substantially change existing law by displacing some common law claims and substituting in their stead a statutory cause of action with a mandatory prelitigation process.” Essentially, the Court upheld SB800 as an exclusive remedy except for the exceptions specifically cited in § 943, subd. (a) [“this title does not apply to any action by a claimant to enforce a contract or express contractual provision, or any action for fraud, personal injury, or violation of a statute”].)
As the Court aptly observed, “Section 944 defines the universe of damages that are recoverable in an action under the Act…. In turn, section 943 makes an action under the Act the exclusive means of recovery for damages identified in section 944 absent an express exception…”
Finally, the Court held that the statutory pre-litigation procedures must be followed, absent agreement by the parties, before a plaintiff may file suit.
McCathern lawyers have been champions of SB800 since it passed in 2002 and well versed in the provisions and application of SB800 with demonstrated success in negotiating settlements through the pre-litigation process. Please feel free to contact us with any questions regarding the decision.